2020/08/18

But Demons Are Interested in You

Demon

The moral and cultural degeneration that is readily apparent on college campuses, in the media, and in government has now grown so severe that even self-described secularists are openly contemplating whether we're seeing the work of demons. Tackling that question makes an apt follow up to my recent post on angels.

Though some members of the Death Cult may indeed be possessed, to a great degree their warped thoughts and irrational actions can be attributed to the relatively less severe spiritual disorder called demonic obsession.

Demonic activity is real.
I could quote Baudelaire on the devil convincing the world that he doesn't exist, but that would be an exaggeration. Belief in in the spiritual--including evil spirits--permeates human history up to the present day, and every culture has a tradition of spiritual warfare.

Don't believe in the spiritual? Actually, yes you do.
All that's really meant by "spiritual" is "non-material". There is no such thing as a coherent and internally consistent materialism. That's because pure materialism, followed to its logical conclusion, rules out the existence of reason--the spiritual faculty required to know about anything, including materialism. Materialist philosophies are therefore self-negating.

Deniers of spiritual realities may attempt to argue that reason, love, humor, etc. are epiphenomena of physical processes. But such arguments address the source of spiritual faculties; not their existence (in fact, their existence is presumed).

Whether or not brain chemistry causes thought is certainly an argument we can have, but unless you can show us a "thought particle" with measurable physical properties, we must conclude to the existence of a non-material dimension of reality that we all experience constantly.

If spiritual being exists, it can have a moral value.
In classical philosophy and Christian moral theology, goodness is fullness of being. The goodness of a thing can be measured by how completely it fills out the ideal of what it's supposed to be. Evil has no independent substance. Instead, evil is a defect or lacking with a parasitic relationship to the good.

For example, illness is the absence of health, ignorance is a lack of knowledge, vice is an imbalance of virtue.

Whether a given being is physical or spiritual doesn't affect its moral character. If a spiritual being has defects that degrade its existence from the fullness of what it's meant to be, it can rightly be said to exhibit some degree of evil. Thus, we're faced with the reality of evil spirits.

You may not be interested in demons, but demons are interested in you.

How can evil spirits affect human beings?
Several attributes of evil spirits follow directly from their non-material nature.
  • Being made of no parts, they're effectively indestructible.
  • As pure intellect and will, they're really, really smart and ferociously determined.
  • Having no physical properties, they don't take up space.
  • As a consequence, they don't need to "move" or "travel". Though not omnipresent, they can be anywhere they think about without traversing physical distances.
  • Therefore, it's less accurate to say that a demon can "get inside of" someone/something and better to describe its activity as "attaching itself" to a person, place, or object (remember: a demon is "located" wherever it focuses its thought).
  • How can nonphysical beings interact with the physical? Probably not that differently from the way your own spiritual faculties can affect your body (e.g. psychosomatic and mental illness).

Areas and signs of demonic activity
There are two types of demonic activity: ordinary and extraordinary.

Ordinary demonic activity is temptation, whereby an evil spirit is the direct cause of, or a contributing factor to, the temptation to sin.

Extraordinary demonic activity may occur in various ways. Some refer to these phenomena as "stages", but they're more properly called "areas", since they don't necessarily follow an orderly progression.

The areas of extraordinary demonic activity are:
  • External physical attacks: pain and/or harm inflicted by a demon.
  • Oppression: various external torments that often masquerade as extreme bad luck.
  • Obsession: uncontrollable, irrational thoughts induced by demonic activity.
  • Infestation: refers to demonic attachment to a place, an object, or even an animal.
  • Possession: one or more demons takes control of a person's body (not the soul).
  • Subjugation: voluntary submission to demonic influence.

Do Death Cultists display signs of demonic activity in any of these areas?

As I said before, most Leftists don't appear to show signs of demonic possession (disclaimer: I'm a lay theologian; not a consecrated and trained exorcist, so I could very well be wrong).

However, certain aspects of Death Cult thought and behavior point to another type of extraordinary demonic activity: diabolical obsession.

According to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the Chief Exorcist of Rome, people suffering from demonic oppression may show these characteristics:
In this area, we are referring to an “out of character” sudden attacks of obsessive thoughts. These can be of an ongoing and even absurd nature. There is an added inability to be freed from these thoughts which range from desperation to suicide.
Although there are mental illnesses such as an obsessive compulsive disorder, if this is a persistent and harmful obsession, it would not be a bad idea to either have clergy or fellow believers pray over the person in the name of the Lord for healing and liberation from the obsession.
One of the most puzzling attributes of the Death Cult is the striking dichotomy between their destructive, malevolent forms of political expression and their relative normality in other areas of their lives. Who doesn't have a friend or relative who conducts himself as a sane, rational, and emotionally well-balanced citizen at all times--except for when he's engaged in politics?

Many Cultists even perform regular acts of objective moral good, such as loving and caring for their friends and families, volunteering, and charitable giving. Yet without batting an eye, they can immediately turn to defending infanticide and advocating for bigotry against straight, white, Christian males. How to explain this Jekyll-Hyde dynamic?

Looking at the description of demonic obsession, it's not difficult to map these symptoms to typical Cultist behavior. Their ongoing preoccupation with critical and intersectional theory, their seemingly involuntary spouting of absurdities, and tragically, their penchant for self-destruction, would indicate that they are demonically obsessed rather than suffering from full-blown possession.

An explosion of demonic activity
Dioceses around the world are reporting an alarming rise in demonic activity. Even worse, there aren't nearly enough exorcists to answer every cry for help.

Fr. Amorth cited the decline in faith as a leading cause of this diabolical epidemic. Human beings are creatures made to worship God. When people abandon faith in Him, they must fill the void with something else, and Satan is eager to oblige.

By definition, Death Cultists fit the profile of people who've rejected God. They profess blind faith in the unlimited malleability of human nature and the false dogma of progress. If such errors aren't directly demonically inspired, they're certainly diabolical in practice.

What can be done?

However dire one's circumstances, there is always hope of healing through the power of Jesus Christ. Good is fullness of being, and illness--including spiritual affliction--is a privation of the good. Since God is by definition the Supreme Being, the One whose nature is To Be, no disorder is beyond His ability to heal.

Since the current social crisis more likely involves external demonic obsession than internal possession, mass exorcisms aren't required to address the problem. Just as physicians can mediate divine healing through their skill, ordinary people can mediate deliverance from evil through prayer and fasting on behalf of our afflicted brethren.

And most of all, we should pray for the strengthening of our faith in the one source of all truth, beauty, and good.

P.S. Not giving money to people who hate you is as much for your own good as theirs. You wouldn't want to reward others for doing evil, right?

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You

9 comments:

  1. Brian

    Thanks an extremely informative post. May God bless you for your theological posts.

    Here are some books that might be of interest to commentators/visitors:

    https://shop.catholic.com/demons-deliverance-and-discernment-separating-fact-from-fiction-about-the-spirit-world/

    And Fr Gabriel's book:
    https://shop.catholic.com/an-exorcist-explains-the-demonic-the-antics-of-satan-and-his-army-of-fallen-angels/

    xavier

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  2. Replies
    1. ML
      Speaking of Blai,yesterday I received a Catholic answers newsletter precisely with an interview he did some time ago


      https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/demons-dont-sleep-interview-with-a-demonologist

      xavier

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  3. Once you've seen a demonic possession, you can't mistake it for ANYTHING else. I think that list above should help explain so many things people who have never seen possession mistake for it, and it definitely explains some things for me.

    Also, I know my pastor always taught that a Christian can't be possessed, as Jesus would not allow it, but demons can torment you in other ways.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you find the list helpful.

      "I know my pastor always taught that a Christian can't be possessed, as Jesus would not allow it"

      That's a potentially dangerous teaching. Christians most certainly can be possessed. One may as well argue that Jesus would never allow Christians to get cancer.

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    2. I used to hold to the idea that Christians couldn't be possessed because being saved, they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit and thus didn't have any room, as it were, for the demon to take up. I realize in hindsight I was confusing possession of the body with possession of the soul, as well as oversimplifying salvation. Justification is one thing, and sanctification another. I suppose that to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and to be filled with the Holy Spirit are also different. If they were not, St Paul's command not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit would be nonsense.

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    3. Yeah, the soul/body distinction is key.

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  4. I found several interesting and informative stories and articles on this site:

    https://www.catholicexorcism.org/

    There are deliverance prayers for the laity too. (Extremely important for laity to NOT try to use prayers meant for an actual exorcist!) https://www.catholicexorcism.org/deliverance-prayers-for-the-laity

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